Jolie Maison Brasserie de Luxe
Time Out Says
Heading indoors, we were met with an Alice-in-Wonderland scene of lime green walls, dotted with ornate mirrors, a pink chaise longue and an array of mismatched chairs and tables. Upstairs, we found a dining room where the tone is more muted, but still quirky: black walls, diamante-studded velvet chairs, silver sequinned cushions, revolving chandeliers – a good place for after dark, but the sunshine beckoned us back to the terrace. Once settled at a granite table set with fuchsia grass table mats, we were brought menus by the man with the watering can, who turned out to be the brasserie’s Franco-Lebanese maitre d’.
We discovered an array of French dishes, from frogs’ legs to bouillabaise Marseillaise. For starters, we decided to share an opera salad, with cherry tomatoes, basil, pomegranate seeds, black olives, mint and walnuts, accompanied by a crispy pancake filled with warm goat’s cheese. The salad was attractive and fresh, but the goat’s cheese disappointed in that it was pretty bland, not the strong farmyard variety expected. I mentioned this to our maitre d’, who said that strong cheese wasn’t popular with the local crowd. Fair enough.
For mains, I went for what was described as ‘crumbelled’ hammour, served with apricots, figs and pistachio nuts. I presumed this would be crumbed hammour, but there wasn’t a breadcrumb in sight on the dish that was delivered under a glass bell jar. Nor could I single out any of the other said ingredients. But if not quite as described, it was a delicious dish consisting of a perfectly cooked piece of fish, set atop a sauce of tomatoes, aubergines, and something sweetly suggestive of figs. My companion had a Black Angus beef burger and fries, one of several gourmet burgers on the menu, including foie gras and kobe beef versions, which came in the form of two delicious mini burgers combining good-quality beef with vegetables and wilted spinach, served on a rectangular plate with thick-cut French fries in a paper cone.
To finish we had macchiatos served with chocolates from the adjoining patisserie, which offers an array of French cakes and sweets to eat in or take home. And that’s not all you can take away: everything at Jolie Maison, from the coffee cups to the furniture is for sale. So you can have a jolie maison (pretty house) all of your own.
The bill (for two)
1x opera salad BD4.5
1x hammour main BD5.8
1x burger BD4.5
2x macchiatos BD2.6
Total (including service) BD19.14
By Chris Anderson | 01 Apr 2009
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